9 Myths About the FSA ID

The FSA ID is a username and password that students, parents, and borrowers must use to log on to certain U.S. Department of Education websites such as fafsa.gov, StudentAid.gov, and StudentLoans.gov. The FSA ID is a secure way to access and sign important documents without using personally identifiable information.

Log-in options on fafsa.gov

Log-in options on StudentAid.gov

Log-in options on StudentLoans.gov

As with any new process, there are some myths floating around about creating and using an FSA ID. Let’s tackle some of those myths right now…


Myth #1:

It’ll take a long time to create my FSA ID.

On average, it takes about seven minutes to create an FSA ID. Federal Student Aid has a variety of resources, such as this helpful video, that walk you through each step of creating an FSA ID.

 


Myth #2:

Only students need to create an FSA ID.

If you are a dependent student, then your parent will need his or her own FSA ID in order to sign the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form electronically. That’s because you will need to provide your parent’s information on your FAFSA form, and your parent will need to sign the FAFSA form as well. But here is something very important: Your parent must create his or her own, separate FSA ID. Your parent shouldn’t use your FSA ID, and you shouldn’t create an FSA ID for your parent.

If you’re not sure whether you’re a dependent student, visit StudentAid.gov/dependency.


Myth #3:

It’s okay to let someone else create or use my FSA ID.

Not okay. Each individual person needs to create his or her own FSA ID. If you’re a parent, you should NOT create an FSA ID for your child. If you’re a student, you should NOT create an FSA ID for your parent. Why? For example, if a parent tries to create both the parent’s and child’s FSA IDs, it’s easy to mix up information such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and usernames and passwords. Because we verify your information with the Social Security Administration, it’s crucial that this information be correct. Also, if someone else creates your FSA ID, how will you know the answers to your challenge questions if you need to retrieve a forgotten username or password?

Most importantly, FSA IDs are used to sign legally binding documents, so giving someone access to your FSA ID is like allowing them to forge your signature. Be sure to create your own FSA ID, and save yourself the trouble.


Myth #4:

I need an email address or mobile phone number to create an FSA ID.

You do NOT need an email address or mobile phone number to create an FSA ID. If you don’t have an email address or mobile phone number, you can leave those fields blank. However, adding this information is strongly recommended. Once your email address is verified, you can enter your email address instead of your username when you log in. You can also use your email address or mobile phone number to retrieve your forgotten username or password or to unlock your account. It’s easy to update and verify your email address or mobile phone number by going to fsaid.ed.gov and clicking on the “Manage My FSA ID” tab.

Manage My FSA ID tab


Myth #5:

As a parent, I can use the same email address or mobile phone number for both my FSA ID and my child’s FSA ID.

An email address or mobile phone number cannot be used with more than one FSA ID. If you’re a student and you choose to provide an email address and/or mobile phone number when creating your FSA ID, you’ll need to include your own email address and/or mobile phone number. Your parent will need to include his or her own email address and/or mobile phone number when creating his or her FSA ID. If you don’t have an email address or mobile phone number, you can leave those fields blank.


Myth #6:

I need an FSA ID to fill out the FAFSA® form.

The fastest way to sign and submit your FAFSA form is to use an FSA ID. That said, if you or your parent don’t have an FSA ID, you can still submit the FAFSA form. If you fill out the FAFSA form online but don’t have an FSA ID, you can choose the option to submit your FAFSA form without signatures, and then print and mail a signature page. If you can’t fill out the FAFSA form online, you have other options.

Students without access to a computer can receive FAFSA assistance from a wide range of college access organizations, such as the National College Access Network; a student can also visit a local library, use a computer at school, or get help from a school counselor.


Myth #7:

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has to verify my information before I can use my FSA ID.

If you’re filling out a FAFSA form for the first time, you can use your newly created FSA ID to sign and submit your FAFSA form right away. But, if you need to submit a renewal FAFSA form or make corrections after you’ve submitted your FAFSA form, you first have to wait for the SSA to verify your identity before you can use your new FSA ID. The verification process takes one to three days.

When creating your FSA ID, make sure to enter your information exactly as it appears on your Social Security card to avoid delays. Once your information is verified, you can use your FSA ID to submit your renewal FAFSA form, make corrections, access your loan history, and a host of other things.

If you’re a parent, you never have to wait for the SSA match to sign your child’s FAFSA form. However, if you sign the FAFSA form when your SSA match status is listed as “pending” and it later returns “no match,” we will remove your signature from your child’s FAFSA form. If that happens, you will either need to resolve the conflict with the SSA and sign electronically again, or you’ll need to print and mail a signature page.


Myth #8:

Confirming my email address or mobile phone number can take up to 24 hours.

You should receive your mobile phone verification code and email confirmation within three minutes. If you don’t, your email account’s spam filter could be the culprit. It’s a good idea to add the FSA ID email address—FSA-ID@ed.gov—to your address book to make sure you get your confirmation.


Myth #9:

I forgot my password, and it’s going to take 30 minutes to reset it.

The easiest way to reset your password is by using your verified email address or verified mobile phone number. If you reset your password using one of these options, you can use your FSA ID immediately. You have to wait 30 minutes only if you reset your password using your challenge questions.


There are lots of resources online to help you create and use your FSA ID; visit StudentAid.gov/fsaid for more FSA ID information. In no time, you’ll have your very own FSA ID too!


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